AALL’s Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates & Resources
Last updated: April 1, 2020
With the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19, AALL is monitoring the situation closely. During these uncertain times, your AALL family is here to support you and provide you with resources that can assist you as you navigate remote work and virtual training. We have made several changes to adjust meetings and programs during this period. Some meetings have had to go virtual due to COVID-19. Please note that this change of format is due to COVID-19 and is not an indication of how future AALL meetings will take place.
The safety of our members, staff, and program attendees is our top priority. As things change rapidly, AALL is acting promptly to balance safety and also to make sure that AALL business continues to take place. AALL also continues to work with peer organizations to share and exchange information. For programs and meetings to be held in Chicago, we are following the latest updates and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the City of Chicago, and the State of Illinois. AALL Headquarters staff is working remotely and remain ready to assist members. Please know that you are not alone—your AALL community is always just a click away. If you have questions or comments, please contact AALL’s Headquarters Office at 312.939.4764. As we monitor ongoing developments, please check this page for updates.
Below are updates on AALL’s upcoming education programs as well as extended deadlines for grant and scholarship applications. We are stronger together, and we will see each other through this.
AALL’s Statements & Updates
- AALL eBriefing / We Are in This Together #AALLin (March 31, 2020)
- AALL eBriefing / AALL Update On COVID-19 Situation(March 12, 2020)
- AALL eBriefing / AALL is Closely Monitoring the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) (March 6, 2020)
2020 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference
July 11-14, New Orleans
Early-bird Registration Deadline Extended to June 15
Currently, the 2020 AALL Annual Meeting will take place as planned in New Orleans. We realize that some members are subject to travel restrictions imposed by their institutions. To give everyone the opportunity to save once these restrictions are lifted, we have extended the early-bird registration deadline to June 15 (originally May 15). We are in regular communication with the Louisiana Department of Health, and we appreciate your patience. The health and safety of our members, speakers, sponsors, and staff are of primary importance to us and will continue to guide our decision making during this difficult time.
Grants & Scholarships Deadline Extensions
For AALL members serving on award, grant, and scholarship juries/committees, this will give your groups additional time to meet and make final decisions. If you have any questions, please contact your staff liaisons.
2020 AALL Leadership Academy POSTPONED
The 2020 AALL Leadership Academy has been postponed to August 7-8; Leadership Academy participants have been contacted with information for hotel rebooking.
2020 AALL CI Strategies & Analysis
We are looking at options for the CI Strategies & Analysis program, scheduled for early May; more details will be shared soon.
Spring Executive Board meeting (April 2-3)
To maintain both necessary social distancing and the continuity of AALL’s operations, the Spring Executive Board meeting (April 2-3) will be held virtually.
As COVID-19 is impacting all of us as individuals and as organizations, we understand that AALL chapters have cancelled their meetings or are looking to cancel or postpone upcoming meetings. Below are some considerations to help mitigate costs while still balancing the safety and the health of our members and program attendees.
While understanding that AALL chapters are independent entities that negotiate contracts and plan events independently, AALL is here to guide and assist you while you make decisions on your meetings. Please note that the general liability insurance that AALL provides to chapters does not include meeting cancellations. We understand that as chapters you have to mitigate the financial losses to the organization while at the same time taking into account the safety and health of your chapter members and program attendees.
CHAPTERS CONSIDERING CANCELLATIONS OR POSTPONEMENTS
Factors to consider in determining if it is necessary or prudent to cancel or postpone a meeting, include but are not limited to:
- Percentage of attendees unable to attend due to their institutions’ travel restrictions
- Check if you have a separate meeting cancellation policy for the meeting and review the policy to see if you can recoup money.
- Local, state, or federal restrictions on group gathering and travel
- Financial penalties for canceling the contract
- Review your contract with the facility to determine what language is included that may allow cancellation without a penalty. This is usually found in the Force Majeure clause. Acts of God, government regulations, cessation of transportation or widespread domestic airport closures, conditions which cause a % of attendee loss by the contracting party, and a situation that makes it illegal, impossible, or commercially impracticable to fully perform under the agreement are usually the reasons listed in the Force Majeure clause. These are starting points for negotiations with the facility.
- Review the Cancellation clause in the agreement that provides information regarding the amount of the chapter’s liability if a termination without penalty is not possible. This amount usually includes a percentage of room night commitment and food and beverage minimums.
- Talk to your facility’s contact person to discuss your concerns and discuss the options for canceling or postponing the meeting. The chapter may be able to better mitigate costs by working with the facility to postpone the meeting to a later date, thus, allowing the facility to also mitigate their loss. A mutually agreed upon decision works best when both groups are willing to make concessions and find a shared solution.
- If the chapter is unwilling or unable to reschedule the meeting with the facility and there is no cause determined for termination without penalty, the chapter will be liable for the cancellation costs outlined in the contract.
CHAPTERS THAT ALREADY CANCELED THEIR MEETINGS
Once a decision has been made to cancel the meeting, the chapter will need to communicate this to the attendees, keeping them informed and aware of their responsibilities. Below are some items that chapters would want to communicate:
- Provide a statement to the attendees announcing the cancelation and provide any pertinent information regarding rescheduling of the meeting (if applicable).
- Include information on processing any registration refunds or if the chapter will transfer registration fees to the rescheduled meeting (if applicable).
- If individuals made their own hotel reservations, provide them with information on how to cancel their rooms and the process of getting refunds if their credit cards were charged a deposit. The hotel can usually assist you with this information.
- If attendees booked their travel by air, determine if airlines have instituted any waivers during your meeting time period and what the rules are for reissuing tickets. Provide this information to your attendees and instruct them to cancel their flights before the day they are scheduled to fly. They should work with their airline to rebook the ticket within the established guidelines.
Federal and State Actions and Information
Constitutional Powers and Issues During a Quarantine Situation, Constitution Daily: National Constitution Center. Article is from March 13, 2020.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Related Legislative, Presidential, and Regulatory Documents, United States Government Publishing Office. Updates are ongoing.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Addresses symptoms, prevention, higher risk populations, what to do if you are sick, situation summary, U.S. cases, businesses and employers, and more. Updates are ongoing.
Coronavirus Relief Center, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; Clearinghouse of the most up-to-date information about available city, state, federal, and nonprofit resources available to those contending with COVID-19 economic impacts. Updates are ongoing.
Court Orders and Updates During COVID-19 Pandemic, United States Courts; Links to all federal court websites, as well as links to court orders and other information posted to the courts’ websites regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and court business.
COVID-19 Resources for Federal Depository Librarians and Patrons, Federal Depository Library Program. Updates are ongoing.
Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2, EPA: United States Environmental Protection Agency; Products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19. Updates are ongoing.
FBI Records: Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts (FOIPA), Federal Bureau of Investigation; The FBI is not accepting electronic Freedom of Information/Privacy Act requests or sending out electronic responses through the eFOIPA portal at this time; FOIPA requests may be submitted via standard mail. Notice is from March 17, 2020.
FTC and FDA Warn Companies Making False COVID-19 Claims, C|M|Law Library Blog: Cleveland-Marshall College of Law; Member Laura Ray on the March 6, 2020, letter. Updated on March 12, 2020.
NCSL Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources, NCSL: National Conference of State Legislatures; Legal information and resources in policy areas ranging from education to health care costs and access. Updates are ongoing.
State Fiscal Responses to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), NCSL: National Conference of State Legislatures; Outlines state budget legislation to prepare and respond to the coronavirus through supplemental appropriations, rainy day fund transfers and economic measures. Updates are ongoing.
Legal Information Industry
Bloomberg Law Dockets Disruption, Barco 3.0: University of Pittsburgh; Bloomberg Law reports that courts are shutting down and certain dockets are not going to be available. Article is from March 27, 2020.
Instant Insights: As Coronavirus Spreads, Legal Industry Shifts Into Crisis Management Mode, Law.com; Reports on law firms, law schools, and lawyer and staffer safety; includes remote working information by firm. Updates are ongoing.
Law Schools and COVID-19 Spreadsheet, Compiled by members Melissa Bernstein and Amanda Runyon, this resource has information on law school and library status, remote working, services offered to students, and more. Updates are ongoing; fill out the form to add your institution’s information.
NCBE COVID-19 Updates, National Conference of Bar Examiners; FAQ concerning bar exam administration and results. Updates are ongoing.
Tracking Prisons’ Response to Coronavirus, The Marshall Project; Facilities across the country are suspending visits from family and lawyers. This resource tracks closures and other changes. Submit updates through the form. Updates are ongoing.
Update: Coronavirus and the LSAT, Law School Admission Council; Information regarding cancellations and schedule changes. Updates are ongoing.
The COVID Tracking Project, Partnership between Related Sciences and The Atlantic; Collects information from 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories to provide comprehensive testing data for the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. Updates are ongoing.
Coronavirus Scam Alert: Watch Out For These Risky COVID-19 Websites And Emails, Forbes; Information on specific domains and scams to be aware of. Article is from March 12, 2020.
A Guide to the Coronavirus, FactCheck.org: Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania; Extensive fact-checking on coronavirus coverage in the media and a list of reputable sources. Updates are ongoing.
Remote Instruction and Services
COVID-19, Copyright, and Library Superpowers (Part I and Part II), Kyle K. Courtney; Member Kyle K. Courtney provides copyright guidance for remote instruction and research. Articles are from March 2020.
Finding Copyright-Free and Free-to-Use Images, CS-SIS Blog; Member Shay Elbaum provides sources and strategies for copyright compliance. Article is from March 24, 2020.
Remote Access to Library Resources (COVID-19 Response), University of Michigan Law Library; Reference service and research consultations are now available remotely; this guide provides information on accessing resources and services. Updates are ongoing.
Serving the Public When the Building’s Closed, Hack Library School; Ideas for staying connected to your service community during a shutdown. Article is from March 17, 2020.
Strategies for Online Student Engagement and Learning, 2016 AALL Webinar; This recording introduces online learning strategies, activities, and tools to facilitate online student learning. Program held on March 30, 2016.
TEACHing From a Distance and Copyright Considerations, Library of Congress. Article is from March 17, 2020.
Teaching in the Time of a Shut-Down for #COVID-19, Gallagher Blogs: University of Washington School of Law; Resources for online instruction from member Mary Whisner.
Remote Working Strategies
Five Strategies to Manage Your Newly Remote Employees, Fast Company; Advice based on a decade of experience and coaching. Article is from March 18, 2020.
How to Zoom: An Introduction, CS-SIS Blog; Member Artie Berns provides a step-by-step guide. Article is from March 25, 2020.
Reference Desk: Using Tech in Disaster Planning and Management, AALL Spectrum; Members Liz McCurry Johnson, Dolly Knight, and Maribel Nash provide guidance on preparing your institution to function remotely. Article is from May/June 2018.
Working In A Virtual World: Tips, Tools, and Best Practices For Forging Relationships When Working With and Managing a Remote Team, 2018 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference program; Members Michelle Hook Dewey and Michelle Trovillo of BakerHostetler on the benefits, challenges, and best practices of a virtual service model. Program held on July 15, 2018
Special Offers and Access
COVID-19: Special Offers, News, and Updates From Library Vendors, Publishers, Online Services, and Others, Infodocket: Library Journal. Updates are ongoing.
Free Products and Resources for Legal Professionals During Coronavirus Crisis, LawSites by Robert Ambrogi. Updates are ongoing.
Google and Microsoft Are Giving Away Enterprise Conferencing Tools Due to Coronavirus, The Verge; Access to Google’s enterprise tools are available for free through July 1; Microsoft Teams is offering a free six-month trial. Updated March 3, 2020.
Wellness and Social Distancing
Being Mindful of Your Mental Health During COVID-19 Outbreak, Healthline. Article is from March 17, 2020.
Keep Coronavirus off Your Phone: How to Effectively Clean and Disinfect Your Device, CNET; Techniques and products to clean your phone. Article is from March 11, 2020.
Legal Ease: Self-Care for Library Staff, AALL; Written by eight members, this white paper presents best practices about caring for not only our stakeholders and our patrons, ourselves, and each other. White paper is from 2018.
Manage Anxiety and Stress, CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The common signs of stress and methods for addressing them. Updates are ongoing.
The Psychology of Coronavirus—How to Manage It, Quartz; The psychology of fear and keys to managing it. Article is from March 9, 2020.
Resources for Social Distancing, The Goodson Blogson: Duke Law; Resources and ideas to brighten your time at home. Article is from March 16, 2020.
The Secret of Calm: How to De-Stress If You Have One minute, Five minutes–or 14 days: The Guardian; Suggested practices and exercises from a psychologist. Article is from March 20, 2020.
Seven Science-Based Strategies to Cope With Coronavirus Anxiety, The Conversation; Suggestions from psychologist and professor Dr. Jelena Kecmanovic. Article is from March 10, 2020.
Use Your Time in Isolation to Learn Everything You’ve Always Wanted To: Free Online Courses, Audio Books, Ebooks, Movies, Coloring Books and More, Open Culture. Article is from March 16, 2020.
Organizational Planning, Preparation, and Management
COVID-19 and the Family and Medical Leave Act Questions and Answers, United States Department of Labor. Updates are ongoing.
COVID-19 Standards, Occupational Safety and Health Administration: United States Department of Labor; Provides OSHA standards, directives, and other related information that may apply to worker exposure. Updates are ongoing.
Law Librarian Leadership Opportunities in the Wake of COVID-19, AALL; Law library leaders provide practical guidance on leadership during the coronavirus; topics include navigating closures, communications, staff, students, patrons, and client management. Features members Cynthia Brown of Littler Mendelson, Greg Lambert of Jackson Walker, Steve Lastres of Debevoise & Plimpton, Joseph Lawson of Harris County Public Law Library, and Clanitra Stewart Nejdl of Vanderbilt Law Library. Webinar is from March 27, 2020.
LawNext Episode 66: How One Law School Prepared for Coronavirus Shutdown, LawSites by Robert Ambrogi; Member David Armond discusses how his law school, BYU Law, prepared for a shutdown and moved courses online. Episode is from March 16, 2020.
Pandemic Preparedness, American Library Association; Includes library-specific policy suggestions and professional tools and resources from governmental and medical entities. Updates are ongoing.
Time to Hit Pause: What Employers Need to Know About Yesterday’s Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Forbes. Updated on March 19, 2020.
We Made It Through! Before, During, and After The Disaster Hits: Improving the Disaster Plan After the Event, 2018 AALL Annual Meeting & Conference program; Members Ajaye Bloomstone, Diana Jaque, Lacy Rakestraw, Samuel Serrano-Medina, Sally Harral Wise, and Jeannette Lebrón provide guidance on disaster planning. Program held on July 15, 2018.
What Should Law Firms Do to Prepare for a Possible COVID-19 Epidemic? With the ALA’s April Campbell, The Geek in Review: Three Geeks and a Law; Members Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert talk to April Campbell, Association of Legal Administrators interim executive director, about law firm preparation. Updated on February 27, 2020.